Mark Hughes` takes his blue and white charges to Stamford Bridge tomorrow afternoon for what will be a monumental clash for the R`s. Chelsea high on their Champions League progress will be in a buoyant mood ahead of the match and confident of getting a win. QPR have three cup finals on their hands and with the teams around them again picking up points, the R`s need to keep up and collect at least 4 points out of 9 to stand any chance of staying up. I expect QPR to line-up exactly how they have done in their last few matches and try to frustrate the Blues into over-committing and pouncing on the counter.
After this season`s well documented race-row, the hostility between the two clubs has certainly risen out of its recent slumber and tensions between the fans is now even more strained than in recent years. Stamford Bridge will be a hostile venue and I suspect the QPR travelling faithful will be in superb voice to support the team and give the Chelsea fans and players some stick. QPR need to be resilient and patient tomorrow if they are to get anything out of the match. It must be said that the R`s have thrived on the extra pressure of late and here`s hoping they can continue their home momentum in what is a very local away game.
Barcelona 2 (Busquets, Iniesta)
Chelsea 2 (Ramires, Torres)
Team: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry (Sent off), Cahill (Bosingwa), Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Mikel, Meireles, Mata (Kalou), Drogba (Torres).
QPR 1 (Taarabt)
Team: Kenny, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Hill, Taiwo, Diakite (Buzsaky), Derry, Taarabt (Sent off), Mackie, Barton, Zamora.
Chelsea Team News:
Roberto Di Matteo`s defensive options are limited this weekend as Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic all miss out through injury and suspension.
Cole – Bosingwa – Terry – Bertrand
Meireles – Mikel – Lampard
Sturridge – Torres – Mata
Player to watch: TBA
QPR Team News:
Adel Taarabt is suspended after his red card against Spurs. Samba Diakite is a doubt after missing training this week due to a virus. Djibril Cisse is a doubt with a knee complaint.
Possible line up:
Onuoha – Hill – Ferdinand – Taiwo
Mackie – Barton – Diakite – Derry – Traore
Player to watch: Clint Hill
With the situation that QPR find themselves in players like Clint Hill and Shaun Derry are vital. Their experience and determination could prove to be invaluable as the R`s hope to avoid the drop. Hill has been imperious at the heart of the back four. He is always in constant communication with his fellow players and is marshalling the defensive line to great effect. It has been incredible to see Hill comfortably compete against the likes of Robin Van Persie, Luis Suarez and Jermain Defoe. With Hill at the back we stand a chance of keeping a clean sheet tomorrow.
The Stat Attack
Queens Park Rangers: WLWLW
HEAD 2 HEAD
Queens Park Rangers: 14
LAST TIME OUT
FA Cup – 28/01/12
Chelsea 1 (Mata pen)
Team: Kenny, Hill, Hall, Ferdinand, Young, Wright-Phillips, Barton, Buzsaky (Hulse), Mackie, Smith, Helguson (Macheda).
Referee: H Webb
Assistants: D Bond & S Ledger
Fourth Official: L Mason
Howard Webb is the match official for tomorrow`s game. This season Webb has issued 146 yellow cards and 5 red cards in 44 games.
To read more see: Ref Watch >>>
Chelsea have a defensive crisis on their hands with John Terry being their only fit central defender. QPR need to exploit this with a direct approach putting pressure on what could be a frail backline. If Bobby Zamora can occupy John Terry`s attention then it paves the way for the likes of Djibril Cisse or Jamie Mackie to exploit the space and auxiliary centre half tomorrow. That said, Chelsea have some devastating attacking players in Juan Mata and Danny Sturridge, although the latter hasn`t enjoyed a sustained run in the side under Di Matteo.
Without Adel Taarabt, the R`s need someone to step up and provide some imagination going forward. Jamie Mackie will run into a brick wall for you but isn`t the most creative in comparison to Adel, so it is imperative a player like Armand Traore comes into the side. Traore has pace and trickery in an abundance which makes me think it would be a good idea to stick him on the left in front of Taye Taiwo and see how effective he is on the counter attack.
1-1 Score draw, Zamora to bag a goal.
When:06/05/12 – 14:00